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Firework gripes hardly booming

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Amy Donaldson won’t call the police about fireworks going off when they shouldn’t, even as the late-night booms keep her and her husband up at night.

Earlier this week Donaldson, who lives in the Pines of Greenwood subdivision, could hear fireworks going off about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday.

That’s less than six hours from when she and her husband have to get up for work. Under the law, her neighbors should have stopped using their fireworks by 11 p.m.

Donaldson didn’t want to call police or do anything to upset her neighbors, but she wishes people would think about what day and time it is before breaking out their colorful ordinance. She’d also prefer people stop using fireworks by 10 p.m.

“It’s just being respectful of other people and decent hours,” she said.

Greenwood and most Johnson County residents who are at least 18 years old could buy and shoot fireworks for 14 hours on the days leading up to Independence Day, and for 15 hours — from 9 a.m. until midnight — on the holiday itself. In Franklin, residents could use fireworks starting at 5 p.m. to two hours before sunset through Thursday, and from 10 a.m. until midnight on the holiday.

Greenwood and Franklin police and the sheriff’s office started receiving complaints at the start of last month about people using fireworks too late at night. Franklin police and the sheriff’s office have had a total of 20 fireworks complaints since June 1, while Greenwood police have had 14 calls since June 18, police officials said.

But there’s little police can do about fireworks complaints unless officers and deputies see someone using them unsafely or after the allowed hours, Johnson County Sheriff Doug Cox said.

The penalty a resident faces by using fireworks too early or too late can vary. The first time officers are called and find people using fireworks when they shouldn’t, they can issue a warning.

But if they have to come back, they’ll likely write them a ticket, Cox said.

Police must see someone using fireworks incorrectly or during off-hours to be able to cite them. Still, if residents hear or see fireworks that are being used unsafely or when they shouldn’t be, they should call police, Cox said.

“A lot of these are over before we even get there,” Cox said. “But in cases where something is going on, if nothing else, we’ll have a conversation with the perpetrators. And if action needs to be taken, we’ll take it.”

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